Tips for Parents to Focus on Kids’ Mental Health as They Head Back to School
Sometimes new routines and new schedules can exacerbate mental health issues such as anxiety and depression. This can be common when children and teenagers experience a change in their routines.
What are some ways to address these changes?
For parents of small children, some ways to help your child’s back to school anxiety may include using a calm voice to reassure that their child is safe and protected. In addition, reinforcing routines can be helpful such as setting a realistic bedtime and selecting the next day’s clothes to wear. Arranging playdates with a familiar peer before school starts may help to lessen the anxiety.
For teens that are expressing anxiety about going back to school, listening to them can play an important role in supporting their mental and physical health. In addition, practicing breathing techniques can reduce stress. This can be taught by inhaling slowly through the nose, holding the breath for a count of four and then exhaling slowly.
If children or teens are experiencing ongoing anxiety, panic attacks or refusing to go to school, additional mental health support may be needed. A trained mental health professional can help your child or teen understand the root causes of the anxiety and help with coping skills.
Make sure you take your mental health and your child or teens mental health seriously.
by Elana Silverberg, MSW Intern
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